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Archive for May, 2012

Yeah, it’s me. We are all moved into our new house and looking forward to visits from our friends. I know the promise of spending time with me is enough of a reason to make the trip. But Philadelphia has more to offer than my charm and wit.

Philadelphia has a wealth of history and historical sites. You could easily spend your days learning about the American Revolution where it actually happened. We have the Liberty Bell, Betsey Ross’s House, Independence Hall, The Constitution Center, Elfreth’s Alley, Valley Forge, and many more sites of historical significance.

Depending on when you come you might even get to experience a live action reenactment. They are having them somewhere around here all the time. There is also areas of civil war history and underground railroad history sites and reenactments.

Yep, Philadelphia really loves and appreciates it’s history. But we also have a pretty cool modern city too.

This is the view from B’s homebase in the Comcast Building, the tallest building in the city. I’m so jealous that he gets to work in the city and be near all the great shops and restaurants.

Downtown Philly is great for sight seeing, especially if you like art and architecture. This Swann Memorial Fountain symbolizes Philadelphia’s three major waterways, The Delaware, The Schuykill and the Wissahickon.

We also have Christ Church, City Hall, Eastern State Penitentiary and and many buildings by Frank Furness. Here is more info about the architecture of Philadelphia.

I love the old architecture of the city and surrounding areas. Building’s like this are common place.

This was someone’s house. Now it is a Catholic Home for Children.

An example of Victorian Architecture in Wyncote.

There are several castle type buildings in the area. This one of Chestnut Hill College.

Here is a list of 19 Beautiful Castles in Pennsylvania, many of these are close to where I live.

If you are also into art The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the largest art museums in the United States.  Many great artists are represented; Monet, Picasso, Dali, Rubens, Renoir, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, Cezanne, etc.

The museum also has sculpture, tapestries, and other decorative arts as well as the second-largest collection of arms and armor in the United States.

For more art, you could visit the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, The Barnes, and The Rodin Museum.

It’s not Broadway but Philadelphia also has some great theaters, orchestras, and operas. All the big name bands and the small “alt rock” groups come here too. It’s a great place to catch a live show.

Besides being home to the first public library, post office, savings bank, university, and hospital in the United States, Philadelphia also had the first zoo. There is also an aquarium (um… over the river in New Jersey, but close enough). For kids there is also the Please Touch Museum.

For science lovers will love The Franklin Institute where Zoe and friend are pictured here, riding inside a flight simulator. The Academy of Natural Sciences right down the boulevard has collections containing more than 17 million specimens. There are several botanical gardens and arboretums to visit, as well as sites along with rivers, like the Seaport Museum.

If you are looking for something a little more unusual Philadelphia has that too. One of my favorites is the Mutter Museum which contains a collection of medical oddities. It is really gross but quite unique.

Laurel Hills Cemetery is a huge, grand cemetery overlooking the Schuylkill River, with over 33,000 monuments. It is really an amazing place to visit.

Literature buffs would like The Edgar Allen Poe House, The Rosenbach Museum & Library (which has the largest collection of the late, great Maurice Sendak’s illustrations and manuscripts), and The Free Library, who’s Rare Book Department features a Charles Dickens collections with first editions, personal letters, and Dickens’s stuffed pet raven, Grip.

The historic Eastern State Penitentiary is also open for tours and has an amazing Halloween event.

Other places of interest in the city are The Comcast Center, with it’s 2000 sqft television screen, Chinatown, the Reading Terminal Market (a truly fantastic farmer’s market), Rittenhouse Square and Franklin Square.

Philly is also fun for foodies. Every kind of food is represented, at every price point. Max Brenner is a favorite of ours. It is a chocolate restaurant and that is a chocolate hamburger with marshmallow mayo, raspberry ketchup, and white chocolate mustard and it is even better tasting than it looks.

If you know me then you know that my favorite place in Philadelphia is the Wissahickon Creek and the parkland that surrounds it.

It is kinda of ridiculously cool. The path along it is called Forbidden Drive. It has a cave that an early American mystic lived in. There is Devil’s Pool, Hermit’s Lane Bridge, Lover’s Leap, Ma Rinker’s Rock, a 15ft sculpture of a Lenape Indian warrior, many bridges, trails and ruins of old mills.

Forbidden Drive

Devil’s Pool

I think it is so amazing that you can just be walking on a trail and come to something like this. What is more amazing is that this huge wooded place is right in the city.

In Philly you can be driving in the city or a close suburb and suddenly find yourself in a rural scene, like a Revolution era barn, or a ruined structure of Wissahickon schist. Sometimes the wildlife comes right up to your door, like these deer in the front yard of a suburban neighborhood, or the red fox that was on our doorstep last night.

Speaking of our doorstep, come inside Gnarlwood and let us entertain you. B loves cooking for company and I love it when he does. You will too.

Right outside the back door we have the Coop/Scoop where we serve food off the grill and ice cream, as well the hot tub, and the pool. Come on in, the water is fine.

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Out and About

Some of you already know this. Some of you aren’t going to want to hear this. Some of you probably just don’t care, and that is fine too. But here it is anyway. I’m bisexual. And this is me officially coming out as a bisexual person.

Why now, you might ask? What does it really matter what a 38yo married woman’s sexual orientation is? Well, the problem is that it does matter to some people. It hurts me when I read about gay people being discriminated against and hated. It makes me sick to my stomach and shaky to know there are people out there who would hate me and possibly want to hurt me just for who I am able to love.

Of course I realize that coming out as an bisexual female isn’t that big of a deal. It’s been trendy for awhile. Be that as it may, it is still something I have been too scared to admit almost my entire life. I even kept it secret from the men I’ve been in serious relationships with, until I started dating B. I was twenty-seven then and I said, “This is who I am. I hope you can be okay with that.” And he was.

Now I am thirty-eight. Forty is looming large ahead. After all I have been through I feel strong enough to say, “This is who I am. I hope you can be okay with that.” And if you are not, well, at least we know who we are.

Okay. That is that. You can be done reading if you want. Or you can continue and read one person’s opinion regarding some myths about bisexuals.
 
1.There is no such thing as bisexual.

The people who think this are not always the same people who think that homosexuality is a choice. But I really really want to tell you that bisexuals exist. I have a theory that there are a lot more of us than you’d think.

I think sexuality is on a continuum and some people are all the way straight and some are all the way gay and some are mostly straight or mostly gay but aren’t totally opposed to the idea of trying out the other side. And some, like me, just love people and are sexually attracted to people, and gender doesn’t matter. And maybe sexual orientation isn’t set in stone. Maybe some people “experiment” in college, and that’s it. And maybe some people loosen up when they get older. I don’t know. To me it makes total sense that we can love and be attracted to anyone, because love is amazing and sexual chemistry is mysterious.

2.Bisexuals are sluts.

Heh. You wish. No really, according to some studies (so says wikipedia) bisexuals do have more sexual fantasies and bi women have a higher sex drive. But, being bi doesn’t mean you can’t be faithful or content. Bisexual people can be as happy in a committed monogamous relationship as any other person.

3.If you are a woman you should be careful around me, because I might try to make out with you.

I’m sorry but no. Personally, I am attracted to intelligence, sense of humor, and a kind of quirky personality. Also, like many people, I find people who are attracted to me to be more attractive (it’s that sexual chemistry thing). So, I’m not going to try to jump on any straight women. Actually, I’m not going to jump on any women, because, um… I’m married!  😛 (p.s. you are still free to fantasize about me trying to kiss you, if you are into that. And wikipedia says that most people are. ;))

4. Bisexuals want to engage in threesomes.

I’m sure some do. So do straight and gay people. Who cares really? Whatever floats the boat of three (or more) consenting adults, right?

5. Everyone is bisexual.

No. But these people are: Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Drew Barrymore, Leonard Bernstein, David Bowie, Marlon Brando, James Dean, Marlene Dietrich, Ani DeFranco, Lady Gaga, Greta Garbo, Frida Kahlo, Anna Paquin, Cole Porter, Michael Stipe, and a lot more people you know and love.

(so were Caligula and Aleister Crowley, but… whatever.)

I’ve been bisexual for as long as I have been any kind of sexual. For the most part I hid my feelings and my orientation because I was afraid. But I don’t feel like I should have to hide anymore. Nobody should have to.

I am saying this now because I know it has helped me to feel safe, understood, and accepted to witness other people come out as bi, gay, lesbian or transgendered. I think we will overcome  discrimination through love and understanding, and while I don’t assume this blog post will change anyone’s mind, maybe people who loved and cared about me before this will decide they still love and care about me. If they don’t feel like that right now, then maybe someday in the future. If not, that is okay because I can see the world moving forward to a place where LGBT orientation is known to be normal, natural, and just another beautiful expression of love. (Kum-BI-ya My Lord, Kum-Bi-ya!) 😉

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